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The following paragraph appeared in a recent column from Der Spiegel:

Eine meiner Lieblingsgeschichten aus diesem Heft: Wie Erich Honecker den Kollegen Franz Josef Strauß über den Tisch gezogen hat, damals beim bundesdeutschen Kredit für die DDR. Strauß dachte, er habe als Gegenleistung einen Verzicht Honeckers auf die Selbstschussanlagen an der Grenze ausgehandelt. Pustekuchen.

How does Pustekuchen translate into English?

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    Related: german.stackexchange.com/questions/3654/… – tofro Jan 17 '17 at 18:39
  • Maybe you know the TV series »Big Bang Theory«. It is broadcasted in a German synchronized version in German spoken countries and is very popular there. One of the main characters, Dr. Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper invented the word »bazinga« to tag jokes that he makes (because he has problems to identify and to correctly use sarcasm). He invented this word in season 3, and when it was synchronized at the beginning, it was translated as »Pustekuchen« in the German version. (Later this word wasn't translated, so now you hear »bazinga« also in the German synchronization). – Hubert Schölnast Jan 18 '17 at 14:36
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There's a mistake in the text, the real expression is Pustekuchen. The meaning is the same as von wegen or denkste!: It expresses that someone didn't get what he wanted to, or wasn't right when he insisted on being right.

I don't think there's a good generic translation into English (but native speakers will know that better than I do), and you'll have to choose a similar expression according to context ("Not a bit!", "No way!", "You wish!" could all work in the right the situation, but are not really the same).

  • I'd say bollocks transports the meaning quite well. – tofro Jan 17 '17 at 18:42
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    I don't think Bollocks is quite right. It's more like "no way, Jose", "in your dreams". "not happening", "think again". – Hilmar Jan 17 '17 at 18:45
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    @tofro: Considering that bollocks is perceived as a serious profanity, placed between "prick" and "arsehole" in severity, I'd say that it's much too strong. "Pustekuchen" is comparatively mild. – dirkt Jan 17 '17 at 19:06
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    Just adding a "Not." after the last sentence is probably one of the more common ways of expressing the sentiment. – Gerhard Jan 17 '17 at 21:16
  • "Not a chance!" from pons.de sounds along the same lines. – Belzebu Jan 18 '17 at 10:21

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